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McCormick ’91 New Book Family Inc.
8/19/2016

Douglas P. McCormick ’91Douglas P. McCormick ’91 recently published a book, Family Inc.: Using Business Principles to Maximize Your Family’s Wealth. As a veteran, part of his mission is to promote economic empowerment among service members and veterans. So he is donating all royalties of the book through Veterans Day to causes related to economic empowerment such as education, financial literacy and entrepreneurship. He has also partnered with a number of organizations in this initiative such The Pat Tillman Foundation, Student Veterans of America, Blue Star Families and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families. Got Your 6, and Armed Forces Alumni Associations at over 40 universities.

McCormick is also generating media awareness about the important issues surrounding veterans and economic empowerment, including an op-ed in Stars and Stripes, which he co-authored with J. Michael Haynie, founding executive director of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families.

Cutler Dawson, CEO, Navy Federal Credit Union, praised the book as a smart resource for service members and veterans, saying “financial planning in an uncertain world is hard; the unique sacrifices of our service members and veterans make this even harder. However, Family Inc. gives you tools to effectively evaluate and develop your financial ‘self-worth’ and, in turn, improve your financial security. It’s a must have for your life skills ‘tool kit.’”

Yanek ’92 Named New CEO of PRSM
8/19/2016

Bill Yanek '92The Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association, (PRSM), the authority on retail, multi-site facilities management, announced that its Board of Directors has selected Bill Yanek as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the association. Yanek has served as the Executive Vice President of the Glass Association of North America (GANA) for the past nine years, and will assume the CEO role at PRSM, September 19. "I am proud to announce Bill Yanek as PRSM's new CEO," stated Leigh Pearson, RFMP, Chair of the PRSM Board of Directors and Director, Facility, Environmental & Procurement Services, Staples, Inc., Canada. "The Board reviewed several highly qualified applicants provided by Sterling Martin, our executive search firm. Bill was the unanimous choice of both the Board and the Task Force. His passion for the industry is palpable and his experience will be a valuable asset to our association," Pearson concluded.

Since 2007, Yanek has served as EVP of GANA, where he directed all business operations, including membership growth, marketing, staffing, budgeting and financial management. He supervised a staff of employees as well as volunteers while also serving as the association's spokesperson and managing legal matters for the association. When informed of his being selected as PRSM's new CEO, Yanek responded, "It is an honor to be selected as the new PRSM CEO and become part of the authoritative community on retail and multi-site facilities management. I can't wait to meet and get to work with the PRSM Team in Dallas. Right out of the gate, we have our Mid-Year Conference and Canada East and Canada West events where I look forward to meeting PRSM members in person. It was apparent during the selection process that great things are ahead for PRSM and I look forward to being part of those efforts."

Bill is a graduate of the University of Kansas School of Law. Licensed to practice law in the State of Kansas, he is a member of the Kansas Bar Association and the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). He has also served as a member of the ASAE Association Management Company Section Council. Read More

Williams ’80 Preparing for a Spacewalk
8/18/2016

Expedition 48 crew members Kate Rubins and Jeff Williams '80 of NASA outfit spacesuitsExpedition 48 crew members Kate Rubins and Jeff Williams of NASA outfit spacesuits inside of the Quest airlock aboard the International Space Station. Rubins and Williams will conduct a spacewalk tomorrow, to install the first International Docking Adapter (IDA), the new docking port that will enable the future arrival of U.S. commercial crew spacecraft. This will be the fourth spacewalk in Williams’ career, the first for Rubins, and the 194th for the space station.

The docking adapter was launched on a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft and arrived at the station July 20. It stands about 42 inches tall and is 63 inches in diameter on the inside. Sensors and other fittings ring the perimeter of the adapter and give it an overall diameter of about 94 inches. Spacecraft flying to the station will use the sensors on the IDA to track to and help the spacecraft's navigation system steer the spacecraft to a safe docking without astronaut involvement.

The adapter also represents the first on-orbit element built to the docking measurements that are standardized for all the spacecraft builders across the world. Its first users are expected to be the Boeing Starliner and SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft now in development in partnership with NASA's Commercial Crew Program. Because the adapter is designed to an international standard, future spacecraft will be able to dock there, too. Read More

Wartski ’82 Lead Drive to Boost Vet Experience
8/18/2016

James Z. Wartski '82James Z. Wartski is working to make VA better for millions of veterans in the northeast.“Our number one goal is to improve veterans’ experience with VA,” said Wartski, director of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Experience Office in New York. VEOs report directly to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Wartski’s staff provides the authoritative perspective of VA’s customers in the 14 northeastern states and the District of Columbia. More than 4.5 million veterans live in this region, designated by VA as the North Atlantic District. Nearly 900,000 veterans live in New York alone. This input will help improve services to VA customers. These improvements may help deliver easy, effective customer service by phone or online, or may foster adoption of customer service best practices at VA facilities nationwide. “What we’re doing is building trusted relationships – one veteran, one colleague, one community at a time,” Wartski said. “A veteran’s experience is not just one moment, but a series of moments that matter. We need to own those moments.”

Wartski’s team collaborates with veterans advocacy groups in the community and connects local resources. An important part of this effort is to meet with local veterans and organizations to collect insights into the VA customer experience. “We’re working to connect what we do and what we say to what veterans feel and experience when they come to VA for the benefits and services they have earned,” Wartski said. Wartski completed over 30 years of Army service before retiring as a Colonel. His assignments included armor and airborne posts from platoon leader and troop commander to top expert on the Army’s Abrams tank. He was an engineering and facilities consultant to Walter Reed Army Medical Center and supported the facility through the transition to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center at Bethesda, Maryland. VA Secretary Robert A. McDonald created the Veterans Experience Office as a driving force behind his 12 breakthrough priorities. The VEO is designed to be nimble to break through bureaucratic clutter, and brings together teams from across the department to identify immediate and long-term improvements to make health care, products and services for the nation’s veterans. More than 250,000 veterans in over 20 states have already shared their experience and ideas with the Veterans Experience Office.

Alvarez ’97 Receives Researcher of the Year Award
8/18/2016

Alvarez ’97 Receives Researcher of the Year AwardLieutenant Colonel Luis Alvarez, USMA‬ professor and director of the Center for Molecular Science, received the Geneva Foundation 2015 Researcher of the Year award at the Military Health System Research Symposium. The award recognizes Alvarez’s dedication to innovative research efforts in developing biologics and cell therapies in the area of regenerative medicine. His research interests are motivated by his previous combat experiences and a desire to develop new regenerative medical therapies for injured service members.

Boyd ’73 Named Among Best Lawyers in America
8/16/2016

Robert D. Boyd '73Robert D. Boyd is one of four lawyers at Boyd Collar Nolen & Tuggle once again recognized as leading lawyers in the area of family law by the Best Lawyers in America guide for 2017. As one of the oldest and most distinguished legal directories, Best Lawyers conducts peer-review surveys to compile its annual list of top attorneys across several practice areas. Best Lawyers in America was first published in 1983 and has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Because its research is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which more than 36,000 leading attorneys cast almost 4.4 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas, and because lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed, inclusion in the guide is considered a singular honor. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers in America “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.”

Panama Canal Anniversary thanks to COL Goethals Class of 1880
8/15/2016

COL Goethals Class of 1880Here’s a bit of history trivia for you - 102 years ago today, the Panama Canal officially opened to shipping. COL George Goethals, USMA 1880, was the Chief Engineer on the project. He died in 1928 and is buried in the West Point Cemetery (see attached photos) near Ed White, USMA ’52, the first person to walk in space. Below is a short summary of the enormous challenge faced by Goethals and the thousands of workers on the project:

From the day the U.S. started digging the Panama Canal in 1904, doubters scoffed. To link the Atlantic and Pacific would mean digging across 50 miles of rugged hills and hot, suffocating jungle. In the late nineteenth century, the French had tried and failed. Teddy Roosevelt didn’t care. He sent engineers to the isthmus with instructions to “make dirt fly.”

Thousands of men went to work digging, blasting, and dredging. They fought floods, mudslides, and yellow fever. Red tape and logistical problems threatened to stymie the project. Then the chief engineer quit, probably out of sheer exhaustion, and Roosevelt had to find someone else to see the canal through. He resolved to get “men who will stay on the job until I get tired of having them there, or till I say they may abandon it. I shall turn it over to the Army.”

In 1907 he appointed Col. George Washington Goethals as the canal’s new chief engineer. A master at organizing, Goethals set to work an army of civilians and soldiers numbering as many as 57,000 men. They dug out more than 200 million cubic yards of earth, constructed a dam to create a lake, and designed huge locks operated by giant electric motors (manufactured by a new company called General Electric).

Every week, it seemed, brought a setback. One explosion killed 23 men. One mudslide lasted 10 days. With every adversity, the naysayers predicted failure. Goethals said nothing in return. He kept working, year after year.

“Aren’t you going to answer your critics?” one staff member asked. “In time,” said the chief engineer. “How?” the man asked. “With the canal,” Goethals answered.

The Panama Canal, one of history’s great engineering triumphs, opened to traffic on August 15, 1914.

Leave it to a USMA grad to make life easier for the Navy!

BG(R) Gross ’85 Joins FH+H as Partner
8/11/2016

BG(R) Gross ’85Brigadier General(R) Rich Gross, former Legal Counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, joined FH+H as a partner in late July. Mr. Gross provides extensive knowledge and experience in all facets of national security law and international law. He has extensive experience providing legal counsel and advice to individuals and organizations at all levels, to include some of the most senior officials in our military. Additionally, he has a wealth of experience in civil and criminal litigation, government contracts, and government investigations in both the executive branch and Congress. "Rich Gross brings clients an unmatched level of experience with national security, along with a deep understanding of how agencies make decisions.

His knowledge could benefit those wishing to do business with the Department of Defense or other Government agencies," said Tom Craig, managing partner at FH+H. "He truly is a great addition to the team." Before joining FH+H, Mr. Gross served over 30 years in the U.S. Armed Forces, retiring at the rank of Brigadier General as the most senior operational lawyer in the military. He also runs a consulting company, Brigadier Consultancy Group LLC, which focuses on providing strategic advice and leadership development services. Additionally, Mr. Gross is a sought-after public speaker. He speaks regularly at national and international security law conferences and has lectured at several law schools, to include Harvard, Yale, the University of Virginia, Columbia University, Georgetown, Emory, and Vanderbilt. Read More

DeVries ’80 to be the New CIO at OPM
8/10/2016

Dave DeVries '80Dave DeVries is leaving the Defense Department to be the new chief information officer at the Office of Personnel Management. DeVries currently is DoD’s principal deputy CIO, and will join OPM in the coming weeks. “I’m elated that David has decided to join our team here at OPM,” said Beth Cobert, acting director of OPM, in a statement. “David has decades worth of the technical and management experience necessary to hit the ground running as we continue our technology transformation efforts, and work with our partners at DoD to stand up the National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB).” Dave DeVries is heading to OPM to be its new CIO after spending 35 years at DoD. DeVries decision to move comes as OPM and DoD work closely to get the NBIB to full operating capability. DeVries has worked for the Pentagon for 35 years, including the last seven in the CIO’s office so he knows the culture and intricacies of DoD. Read More

Hartman ’84 Takes On New Role at Stryker
8/10/2016

Art Hartman ’84Stryker is excited to announce Art Hartman’s appointment as Senior Military Relations Officer. Art is a U.S. Army Veteran, and is responsible for the strategic direction and execution of military hiring and inclusion programs. “I have served in various leadership roles at Stryker for over 21 years and am passionate about our mission and values. We have a great track record of attracting, developing and retaining veterans, and I am excited to take our efforts to a new level.”

Old Grads March Back with New Cadets
8/9/2016

March Back Class of 2020After six grueling weeks, Cadet Basic Training (CBT) has ended. Despite the intensive training—rappelling a 75-foot rock face, enduring the House of Tears, surviving the new five-day field training exercise (during which it rained for two days straight), and more—new cadets reported “loving” Beast Barracks. They learned a number of practical skills in CBT for their future careers as second lieutenants, but, more than that, they learned a lot about themselves. “I’m tougher now,” said New Cadet Will Morningstar ’20, and New Cadet Chris Robertello ’20 reported experiencing “a transformation in attitude.” New Cadet Zach Aloma said that CBT plunged him into the unknown and made him realize that he could adapt to anything. He also learned the value of teamwork. “I never would have gotten through the battle drills of the FTX without my squadmates,” said Aloma. Perhaps New Cadet Kataliya Quinlan ’20 said it best: “I learned that I could push through more than I thought I could this summer and breach walls that I didn’t think I could break.” Quinlan needed to remember this lesson to accomplish CBT’s 12-plus-mile capstone mission, the March Back from Camp Buckner to Washington Hall. Supporting her and her fellow 1,275 new cadets from the Class of 2020 along the way were 316 Old Grads from 40 West Point classes spanning 69 years of the Long Gray Line, the largest number of graduate participants in the March Back’s 17-year history. This total included 119 members, another record number, from the Class of 1970, the 50-Year Affiliation Class for 2020. “Having the Old Grads march with us was awesome,” said Quinlan. “Seeing them do it really motivated me and made all the new cadets think, ‘If they can do it, so can we.’” Full Story »

COL(R) Fallin ’88 Received Legion of Merit Award
8/9/2016

COL(R) Fallin ’88 In a ceremony on June 8, 2016, at the Airborne and Special Operations Museum in Fort Bragg, N.C., COL(R) Don Fallin, a Fairview native, was honored at his retirement culminating in over 34 years of service in the U.S. Army with assignments in the Infantry, Airborne, Aviation and Special Operations. COL(R) Fallin served in 16 different countries on four continents. During the ceremony, COL(R) Fallin was awarded the Legion of Merit, one of our nation’s highest awards for service.

In addition, COL(R) Fallin was awarded the Order of Saint Michael which recognizes individuals who have contributed significantly to the promotion of Army Aviation and demonstrated the highest standards of integrity and moral character, display an outstanding degree of professional competence, and serve the United States Army Aviation community with distinction. COL(R) Fallin served in various aviation command and staff positions including commanding at the Aviation Special Operations Group, Squadron and Company levels. In his most recent aviation assignment, he served as the commander of the Special Mission Wing/Special Operations Aviation group in Afghanistan. Read More

Atwell ’05 Rehabbing Homes, Giving Back to Veterans in Need
8/5/2016

Kirby Atwell '05Kirby Atwell has channeled his passion for rehabbing old homes into providing "new" ones for other veterans. Atwell recently launched his company Green Vet Homes. Atwell is a graduate of West Point Academy, and left active duty Army in 2011. “I got home from the Army on a Tuesday and was out the door on Wednesday morning, looking for houses to buy and rehab,” he said. After securing a handful of rentals and flips of his own, Atwell partnered with longtime friends, John and Janelle Swiercinsky in 2011 to form iCandy Homes, LLC, a local real-estate investment company. Though the company has earned much success in flipping over 70 properties throughout the Chicagoland area, Atwell felt inclined to focus on veteran aid while also broadening his real estate portfolio to include wholesales and rentals. “I learned so much from my experiences at iCandy Homes, but I felt a pull to fully focus on a ‘do-good’ mission," he said. "I’m still able to work with iCandy, but now also able to put my efforts toward other opportunities. Veteran aid is something I’m truly passionate about."

Green Vet Homes is two-fold in its purpose. The company saves and refurbishes as much as possible while rehabbing properties, creating as little waste as possible. When a home is in need of new fixtures, sustainable products—such as bamboo flooring and energy efficient windows—are prioritized. Additionally, GVH aims to serve local veterans through providing housing for those who served in the military, as well as donating a portion of profits to veterans and their families. Though the company is less than a month old, the first official GVH property was already rented to a veteran earlier this month. Atwell contacted the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program in mid-June to learn more about the need for veteran housing, and how he could utilize their network in order to provide homes for those in need.

“In my mind, there is no greater honor than helping Veterans start again," said HUD-VASH Housing Specialist Jessica Wilkie. "There is a dire need for affordable housing and our program endeavors to creatively implement ways to address these challenges.” “I’m excited to continue working closely with the HUD-VASH Program; their program is incredible, and it’s motivating for me to be able to provide quality homes for these deserving men and women," Atwell said. "I’ve always been driven to do something unconventional in terms of my career path, but having so much meaning behind your work is the ultimate motivation. Knowing that we’re going to be as green as possible while restoring homes, and knowing that we’re housing heroes in need—you can’t put a value on that.” Read More

Westrom, Sheikh & Matchoumboud (’16) Take 2nd in Int'l Design Competition
8/4/2016

Cadet WestromCME’s Honeycomb Helper Takes 2nd in International Student Design Competition, 2LT Michael Westrom won 2nd place for his team’s design at the Rehabilitative Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) Student Design Competition in Washington D.C. The design, titled the “Honeycomb Helper”, assists workers with disabilities in packaging pharmaceutical bottles on a production line. 2LT Westrom, along with team members 2LT Rex Sheikh and 2LT Mc Crwuz Leonce Matchoumboud, partnered with Access: Supports for Living - a non-profit manufacturing company that employs workers with disabilities in Middletown, NY. The pharmaceutical bottle line is a mainstay product for Access but poses challenges for many workers with disabilities. The Honeycomb Helper incorporated a honeycomb-shaped frame to assist workers with packing bottles in the client-specified staggered pattern. Using the Honeycomb Helper, additional workers are packaging bottles and earning a higher wage and Access realizes higher production for its mainstay product. RESNA is the premier professional organization dedicated to promoting the health and well-being of people with disabilities through increasing access to technology solutions. 91 teams from across North America submitted designs for the competition. In addition to presenting his design, 2LT Westrom also participated in a poster session.

Anderson ’61 to Endow Men’s Basketball & Women’s Rugby Coaching Positions
8/4/2016

The Anderson’sArmy West Point Athletics has received another extraordinary commitment from Lee and Penny Anderson that will enhance the cadet-athlete experience in multiple sports and further advance the mission of the Academy. The Anderson’s contribution will catapult a transformation of the Arvin Annex that will house a new state-of-the-art weight room and locker room facilities for multiple athletic and club programs. In addition to this facility upgrade, the Andersons will endow the head men’s basketball and women’s rugby coaching positions.

“The Andersons continue to be a major supporter of the Academy and our cadets,” Director of Athletics Boo Corrigan said. “The loyalty Lee and Penny have shown towards West Point is unparalleled and we are certainly grateful for their continued generosity to our athletic programs.”“We are incredibly appreciative of the support that Lee Anderson and his family has given our men’s basketball program,” new men’s basketball head coach Jimmy Allen said. “His support helps our cadet-athletes immeasurably and we are so proud that he is a part the basketball family at Army West Point.” Full Story »

Belter ’78 New eBook on The 1914 Army Football Team
8/1/2016

Belter ’78 New eBook on The 1914 Army Football TeamA Forgotten First National Championship: The 1914 Army Football Team. See how the Army college football team was able to win all nine games during the 1914 season. Army decisively played and defeated teams from Rutgers, Colgate, Villanova, Notre Dame, Navy and others. The team was later named by the NCAA as one of three national college football champions for 1914. Players included future Generals Bradley and Van Fleet and Hall of Fame coach Bob Neyland.

McHargue ’83 Releases New Novel: Waterwight
7/29/2016

Laurel McHargue has released a new novel Waterwight. The story explores a post-cataclysmic world threatened by stinking ooze in which a brave girl searches for her missing parents with the help of talking animals and evolving superpowers. When a mountain spirit challenges her to save the planet, she and a flying frog must overcome a magical, malicious castle of sand and a shapeshifter who wants her dead. Why did McHargue write this story? She got the idea from a dream. When she shared her dream vision with another author friend, her friend told her she had the recipe for some fantastic fiction. As an English teacher, McHargue knew her students were always looking for fun, exciting novels. Click here to watch the video: https://youtu.be/RBb0VGFapU4

McHargue is no stranger to adventure and left Smith College to discover her true limits in all areas of her life. "The United States Military Academy was the best place not only to test myself, but to serve my country as well.” Graduating with the fourth class of women at West Point, she then spent nine years on Active Duty followed by three years in the Army Reserves before resigning to raise her two sons. “I’ve jumped out of airplanes, traveled the world, and led groups of men and women in accomplishing challenging missions. I loved my time in the Army, and my experiences provided great material for writing some fantastic fiction in a fantasy adventure novel.” Read More

Staab ’79 Appointed Grand County Manager
7/29/2016

Lee Staab '79Lee Staab will begin serving as manager on August 29. He served in the military for more than 27 years and was assigned as the Executive Assistant to the Secretary of the Army in the Pentagon. He graduated from the University of Illinois with degrees in Engineering. In 2012 he attended Harvard Business School and completed the Executive Education Program. In 2014 Staab was selected as the City Manager for Minot, ND. Staab answered a few questions about his new role as Grand County Manager.

CPT Quink ’09 Awarded the Michael P. Murphy Award in Geospatial Intelligence
7/28/2016

CPT Quink ’09 Awarded the Michael P. Murphy Award in Geospatial IntelligenceTyson J. Quink was selected to receive the 2016 Lt. Michael P. Murphy Award in Geospatial Intelligence. Quink was presented with the award from Jack Dangermond, president and founder of Esri; Keith Masback, CEO of the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation; Heath Rasco, director, of technical programs for DigitalGlobe; and Steve Handwerk, geospatial intelligence faculty member with the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences’ John A. Dutton e-Education Institute. Named in honor of Lt. Michael P. Murphy, a Medal of Honor recipient and distinguished Penn State alumnus, the award recognizes achievement by a graduate of Penn State’s geospatial intelligence program who has served in the U.S. Armed Forces or with the geospatial intelligence community and demonstrated exceptional contributions to the discipline.

“It is an honor to be selected for the Lt. Michael Murphy award for Geospatial Intelligence. Both in and out of the service I have seen the importance of GIS and how the capabilities of having correct data and products can help leaders make informed decisions. As a result of robust GIS capabilities, mission execution can be more precise and, more importantly, GIS can help keep soldiers safe,” said Quink, who earned a postbaccalaureate certificate in geographic information systems as well as a graduate certificate in geospatial intelligence analytics through Penn State World Campus.

Quink served as a fire direction officer and platoon leader for the U.S. Army’s 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. After combat, Quink returned to serve as assistant coach for the U.S. Army’s athletics department. In 2013, Quink began working as a program manager for Hewlett-Packard while pursuing his master’s degree online. He then completed an internship with U.S. Department of Defense as a GEOINT analyst before joining Esri as a solution engineer. Quink is on track to graduate this year with a master's degree in geographic information systems through Penn State World Campus. “We are very proud of this year’s recipient of the Lt. Michael P. Murphy Award in Geospatial Intelligence, Mr. Tyson Quink.  The eighth person to receive the award, Tyson joins a growing list of individuals who have demonstrated academic excellence and provided significant contributions to the profession,” said Handwerk. Read More

MAJ Smiley ’03 Inspiring the USA Basketball Team
7/27/2016

Major Scott Smiley The Men's National USA Basketball Team got a lesson on what it truly means to represent your country last week when they met Major Scott Smiley, an American hero and Purple Heart recipient. Head coach Mike Krzyzewski invited Smiley to speak to Team USA in Las Vegas as they began training for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Krzyzewski first met Smiley when he took over coaching duties for USA Basketball in 2006. That's when Coach K invited then-Colonel Robert Brown (now a four-star general recently confirmed by the Senate as the new commander of the U.S. Army Pacific) to speak to his team. Brown brought with him several wounded warriors, including Smiley.

Smiley was wounded in April 2005 in Iraq by a suicide car bomb. The explosion nearly killed him, taking out both of his eyes and a large chunk of his skull. But Smiley didn't let his injuries adversely impact his life. Instead, he's become an inspiration. He returned to service as the first blind active-duty officer in United States Army history. In the years since, he's rattled off so many remarkable achievements, from getting his MBA from Duke to climbing Mount Rainier to completing an Ironman Triathlon last summer. So as the Men's National Team began their quest to bring home a gold medal next month in Rio, Krzyzewski invited Smiley to speak to the team once again and remind them what it means to wear the stars and stripes. Click here to watch the video.

"At the Military Academy, I thought I knew what a team was," Smiley told the players. "But waking up in Walter Reed Army Medical Center — blind the rest of my life, half of my body paralyzed, missing a quarter of my skull — I thought my life was over. I had nothing to fight for. I was all on my own. "But in true fashion, my wife, my family, my friends, and just as importantly, the Army was still there. The team had surrounded me with love and compassion and helped me understand that I wasn't on my own." Smiley closed his remarks with a charge to the team. "I encourage you all to have the same pride that we have wearing our flags on our shoulders, fighting for our country, serving our country, being a part of that team...and just to fight as hard as you can to bring that gold medal home," Smiley said. After Smiley spoke to the team, he took in a practice. Pacers forward Paul George was his eyes on the court, wearing a microphone that allowed him to communicate directly with Smiley via a headset so that he could understand what was happening. Read More

LTC Obidinski ’98 Awarded Bronze De Fluery Medal
7/27/2016

Therese Obidinski Awarded Bronze De Fluery MedalOn 26 July 2016 LTC Therese Obidinski ’98 was awarded Bronze De Fluery Medal from US Army South Chief of Engineers, COL Daniel George. The De Fleury Medal, an award of the US Army Engineer Association, was named in honor of François-Louis Teissèdre de Fleury, a French Engineer in the Continental Army. LTC Obidinski was honored for her support to the Engineer Regiment and particularly for community service and her volunteer work to promote a project to build a gym for her daughter's school. She currently serves as Deputy Director ACS-G7 and is preparing to deploy to Afghanistan in support of the Resolute Support Mission. LTC Obidinski is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom ’07-’09 where she served with 4th Infantry Division MultiNational Baghdad Headquarters and deployed in 1998 to Ocotal, Nicaragua with 46th En BN to help rebuild after Hurricane Mitch devastating the area.

McKelvie ’09 Elevated to Associate Head Coach
7/27/2016

Zach McKelvie '66After serving as an assistant hockey coach at Army West Point, Zach McKelvie has been elevated to Associate Head Coach, announced by head coach Brian Riley. "Zach has been an incredible part of our program as a player and a coach," said Riley. "He is very deserving of this title due to his loyalty and dedication to the team. I am privileged to have one of the best young coaches in college hockey on our staff. We are very fortunate to have him here at West Point. As well as overseeing the everyday duties of the program, his primary duties will continue to be working with our defensemen as well as overseeing our penalty killing unit."

McKelvie returned to West Point in 2014 after winning the East Coast Hockey League title with the Alaska Aces that spring. He played in 42 games for the Aces, including the playoffs and had four points in the run to the Kelly Cup. He began his pro career with the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League in 2011 and played a total of 29 games before skating in seven contests at the end of the season with the Reading Royals of the ECHL. He spent most of his career with the AHLs Abbotsford Heat, which is part of the Calgary Flames system. He played 65 games with the Heat in over a season of action. Read More

CPT(R) Byrne ’93 Publishes Children’s Book for a Cause
7/26/2016

My MS and E Children’s Book for a Cause by CPT(R) Byrne '93Kevin Byrne was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1999, while serving overseas in command of a U.S. Army Air Cavalry Troop. My MS and E is a children’s picture book depicting a typical interaction between him and his daughter, Eleanor. They share an unbreakable father-daughter bond, even in the face of his ongoing struggles with MS. The story is “a heartwarming tale of how we grow, learn, struggle, and celebrate life in our mantra of Never Stop… Never Quit…” All profits earned from this book will be donated to the Oregon Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Chaney '01 Named 2016 Nininger Award Recipient
7/22/2016

MAJ Matthew A. Chaney '01The West Point Association of Graduates is pleased to announce MAJ Matthew A. Chaney '01 as the 2016 recipient of the Alexander Nininger Award for Valor at Arms. He will receive the award on September 22, 2016, at West Point, NY. Chaney is a Special Forces officer currently serving as the Executive Officer for the Commanding General, United States Army Special Forces Command (Airborne). Major Chaney received the Silver Star award for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy on 10 September 2007, while serving as the Detachment Commander, Operational Detachment Alpha 083, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), at Samarra, Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. See Press Release

NWHF Dan Gable Museum Names Award after Steenlage ’66
7/22/2016

Bob Steenlage '66The National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum created a new award in 2015. The Bob Steenlage Iowa High School Outstanding Wrestler of the Year Award will be given each year to the top high school wrestler within the state of Iowa. The award was presented this year to Carter Happel, of Lisbon during the Glen Brand Wrestling Hall of Fame of Iowa inductions on Saturday, June 11, in Waterloo. The award is named after Bob Steenlage, Iowa’s first four-time state wrestling champion. Steenlage competed for Britt High School, winning state titles in 1959 (95 pounds), 1960 (103 pounds), 1961 (112 pounds) and 1962 (120 pounds). Steenlage went on to wrestle at West Point Military Academy where he went four years without losing a dual meet. He was also a third place finisher at the 1966 NCAA tournament at 123 pounds and a Division I NCAA All-American.

Steenlage is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy (West Point) and the Airborne and Ranger schools. He was a platoon leader and company commander in the Vietnam War. Steenlage was awarded the Bronze Star medal for his service in Vietnam. He is a nationally known inspirational speaker and businessman. His biography, "Fighting Back," is in the sixth printing. For more details, visit Steenlage's website www.bobsteenlage.com. “It is very humbling to have this award given in my name,” said Steenlage in a news release. “Wrestling has had such a huge positive impact on my life, and the thought of being part of awarding excellence greatly touches my heart. Wrestling taught me that taking charge of our thoughts determines our success on and off the mat.” A special selection committee at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum will choose the winner of the award. It will be given to the best high school wrestler in the state of Iowa for that particular year. The winner can come from any class (1A, 2A, or 3A), any weight or any year of eligibility. Read More

CPT Gordon ’12 Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross
7/22/2016

Captain Lindsay Gordon ’12Captain Lindsay Gordon ’12 and Chief Warrant Officer 2 David Woodward were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for their actions while flying an AH-64 Apache helicopter during an early December mission in Afghanistan. The cross is awarded to soldiers who distinguish themselves with "heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight," according to the Department of Defense.

Throughout the night of Dec. 5, a Ranger regiment was engaged in a firefight with enemy troops near the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan. After about 5 a.m., the ground force commander called for an immediate extraction after they learned of a larger enemy group approaching. Located in a deep river valley, the troops were not in a good position to defend themselves. Woodward and Gordon, flying along with the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, guided their aircraft directly between the U.S. troops and the enemy forces as the extraction got underway.

"Upon landing to the (extraction zone), the (Rangers) immediately received fire from all directions, including their take-off direction," said Lt. Col. Jeffery Bragg, commander of the 1st Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment. "With rounds impacting within a few feet ahead of the lead assault helicopter, Capt. Gordon and CW2 Woodward deliberately placed their aircraft in a position to distract and draw fire from the assault helicopters while they completed the exfiltration of the rangers." The whole place "lit up," Bragg said. Enemy fire was originating from more than five to seven points in the area. Woodward and Gordon's actions helped save dozens of lives. Read More

Hacioglu ’92 CEO of Boreas Natural Gas Has Commenced Operations
7/21/2016

Cem Hacioglu '92Boreas Natural Gas has commenced operations providing products, services and customized turnkey solutions for the natural gas fuels market. Founded by the industry veteran Cem Hacioglu, Boreas Natural Gas is the second natural gas fuels company Hacioglu has led after Applied LNG where he was the President and CEO from 2009 to 2015. Headquartered in Westlake Village, California, Boreas Natural Gas is the result of Hacioglu’s vision to create a self-sustaining natural gas fuels supply chain which will make natural gas a permanent fixture in America’s energy infrastructure. “We will initially focus on the operational and service aspects of the value chain and opportunistically move into the production and distribution segments,” said Hacioglu.

“I feel very excited to set sail on this new venture with a group of talented professionals and experienced advisors who have achieved a great deal of success in the industry and genuinely share my vision for the future of the natural gas fuels market. This is the perfect time to invest in this industry where asset valuations are significantly reduced in response to low oil prices, creating tremendous buying opportunities for players with patient capital and longer term strategic vision,” remarked Hacioglu. “Despite the narrowing of the spread between oil and natural gas prices, both the installed customer base and potential entrants are clamoring for customized, turnkey solutions to help them switch to clean burning natural gas in order to create economically sound and environmentally sustainable organizations,” added Hacioglu.

Prior to Boreas, Hacioglu was with Applied LNG. Following his appointment as its President and Chief Executive, he led Applied through a successful Chapter 11 reorganization, turning a distressed company into a profitable industry leader. Previously, Hacioglu was a portfolio manager in charge of private equity investments for Sandell Asset Management and Millennium Partners and also held positions at Fletcher Asset Management, Merrill Lynch, and the World Bank. Hacioglu holds an MBA in Financial Management from the MIT Sloan School of Management. Read More

Feeney ’80 Announced as DefenseStorm CEO
7/20/2016

Sean Feeney '80DefenseStorm announced the appointment of fintech and cloud veteran Sean Feeney as CEO.

“We have admired Sean’s leadership and operating performance across his last two successful company-building endeavors,” said Jeff Lunsford, Co-founder and Chairman of DefenseStorm. “Sean’s proven ability to build enterprise software companies that delight their customers with world-class service will be immensely valuable as we continue to scale DefenseStorm within financial services and expand our value proposition to include additional verticals,” continued Lunsford.

Prior to joining DefenseStorm, Feeney was the CEO at GT Nexus (GTN), the developer and operator of the largest cloud-based supply chain network platform. Feeney is credited in this role for realizing GT Nexus’s vision and implementing its profitable growth strategies. Under his direction, GTN was acquired by Infor for $675 million. At the time, approximately 25,000 businesses relied on GT Nexus’s cloud-based global commerce platform; including several of the top 25 supply chains in the world.

Feeney’s work experience also includes roles as Executive Vice President at CheckFree (acquired by Fiserv for $4.4 billion), Chief Operating Officer at Clarus Corporation, and Executive Vice President at Dun & Bradstreet Software. He currently sits on the board of TrendKite and is a former board member and past Chairman of the Technology Alliance of Georgia (TAG). Read More

Oliver, Abbott & Brumagin (all ’89) of Battle Monument Partners
7/20/2016

Oliver, Abbott & Brumagin all 89The West Point classmates are managing partners of Richmond private equity firm Battle Monument Partners. They founded the firm in 2014 to invest in single-tenant commercial properties in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. Now, the company is raising up to $5 million through it first securities offering, according to an SEC document filed last month. The money will be raised through debt securities in a fund named STRAC Fund I, and will be used as leverage to add to its portfolio of 10 properties.

A former operating executive in venture capital and private equity-backed companies, Oliver had long hoped to start his own investment fund. Teaming up with Brumagin, a West End resident and restaurant franchisee, and Abbott, who retired from the U.S. Army five years ago and lives in Arlington, seemed like the perfect partnership. The firm also employs two interns from VCU at its 1805 Monument Ave. office. “We did a lot of work the past two years to get it set up,” Oliver said. “It seems to be the right decision at the right stage of life, and I couldn’t be happier.”

Battle Monument Partners has 36 investors lined up, most of whom are military academy graduates. While Oliver said he doesn’t want his fund to be exclusive, the self-described “Gray Hog” used the partners’ military contacts to build the firm. The partners are focused on attaining above-market return for clients, but they also added a social mission to their firm. Battle Monument Partners committed to donate up to 10 percent of the carried interest from its portfolio sales to charities focused on assisting veterans. Read More

GEN(R) Abizaid ’73 Appointee for Member, President’s Intelligence Advisory Board
7/20/2016

General John P. Abizaid '73General John P. Abizaid is the Founder and Senior Partner at JPA Partners, LLC, positions he has held since 2007 General Abizaid also serves as Distinguished Chair Emeritus at West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center and sits on the board of directors of RPM International and USAA From 2007 to 2010, General Abizaid was the first Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution General Abizaid is a retired U.S. Army four-star general and served as Commander of the United States Central Command from 2003 to 2007 and as Deputy Commander from 2002 to 2003 From 2001 to 2002, he served on the Joint Staff as Director and as Director of Strategic Plans and Policy from 2000 to 2001 General Abizaid was the Commanding General of the First Infantry Division headquartered in Wurzburg, Germany from 1999 to 2000 He was the 66th Commandant of Cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point from 1997 to 1999 General Abizaid was an Olmstead Scholar at the University of Jordan He received an M.A. from Harvard University.

Kidd ’86 Appointee for Executive Director, Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council
7/20/2016

Richard Kidd IV '86Richard Kidd IV serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Energy & Sustainability, a position he has held since 2010 From 2008 to 2010, he served as a Program Manager for the Federal Energy Management Program at the Department of Energy Previously, Mr. Kidd held various roles at the Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs from 2001 to 2008, including Special Assistant, Office Director, and Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary From 1999 to 2001 he was a Program Manager for the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, and from 1993 to 1999 he was a Country Director, Operators Manager, and Emergency Logistics Officer for the United Nations Additionally, Mr. Kidd served as an Infantry Captain and Officer in the U.S. Army from 1986 to 1991 Mr. Kidd an M.P.P.M. from the Yale School of Management.

Dr. Hamilton ’84 to Join York College as the Coordinator of Civil Engineering
7/19/2016

Dr. Scott Hamilton ’84Dr. Scott Hamilton ’84, former faculty member in the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, has been hired by York College of Pennsylvania as the Coordinator of its new Civil Engineering Program. Dr. Hamilton will be responsible for developing and managing the new civil engineering program, which will commence Fall 2016. He brings extensive experience to York College from his many years of service as an Army Corps of Engineers Officer. He has also taught at several institutions including the U.S. Military Academy and Northeastern University.

COL Hale ’67 Inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame
7/19/2016

Colonel Glynn "Ranger" Hale '67Colonel Glynn "Ranger" Hale was honored on July 14 and inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame at Fort Benning, GA. The Ranger Hall of Fame was established to “honor and preserve the spirit and contributions of America’s most extraordinary U.S. Army Rangers,” according to the U.S. Army Ranger Association. To be considered for induction, nominees must be deceased or out of active military service for at least three years, and must have served in a Ranger unit in combat or be a successful graduate of the U.S. Army Ranger School.

LTG(R) Swan '76 Reappointed to FEMA’s National Advisory Council
7/19/2016

Lt. Gen. Guy C. Swan III, USA, Ret., ’76Lt. Gen. Guy C. Swan III, USA, Ret., ’76, has been reappointed to a three-year term on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Advisory Council. Swan currently serves as Vice President at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) after a 35-year Army career. An Iraq veteran, Swan gained wide experience in homeland security and emergency management issues, including commanding U.S. Army North, the Joint Force Headquarters - National Capital Region, and the 7th Army Training Command. A certified emergency manager and certified protection professional, Swan is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Aspen Institute Homeland Security Group. Swan holds a master of military art and science degree from the U.S. Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies, and a master of arts degree in national security studies from Georgetown University.

He was a National Security Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. The 35-member FEMA council is made up of people with various backgrounds, such as cybersecurity, emergency response and management, communication, law enforcement and government. James G. Featherstone, the general manager of the Los Angeles Emergency Management Department, is the council chair. Swan is one of five current members reappointed to the council. In a statement, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said the advisory council "plays a key role to ensure effective and ongoing coordination of federal preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation for natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters." For example, in March the advisory council made recommendations about addressing the needs of children during disasters, and clarifying roles of emergency medical services public health and emergency management functions to reduce duplication and confusion during a crisis.

L. Howard Belknap ’81 Named COO of Butler Snow
7/7/2016

L. Howard Belknap ’81Butler Snow has announced L. Howard Belknap chief operating officer after an expansive national search. Belknap was previously with Baker & McKenzie, a leading global law firm where he served as COO and executive director of the firm’s New York office. He has more than 30 years of executive leadership and management experience. “Howard has been a leader for our country and a top-notch executive who has helped to lead some of the largest and most successful law firms in the world,” said Don Clark, Jr., chairman, Butler Snow. “We are thrilled to have him join the Butler Snow team and I look forward to working alongside Howard as we set the vision for our firm and implement our strategic plan.”

Belknap served an honorable military career as an Army officer. He held key leadership positions, including strategic planner and speechwriter for former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell, Vice Chief of Staff of the Army J. H. Binford Peay III and Under Secretary of the Army Joe R. Reeder. He also commanded field artillery units in Hawaii and Korea. After retiring from the Army, Belknap began his law firm career in 2002 as director of administration for the New York office of Shaw Pittman, a 400-attorney firm at the time, where he oversaw significant increases in profitability and multi-year business and marketing plans.

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